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17-09-2012
  1
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HeatherAnne's Avatar
 
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Gap Hires A Creative Director, COS Creator Rebekka Bay
I'm really excited about this news. Take Gap back to the well-made basics, much like COS is synonymous with and Gap used to be, ditch the cheesy graphic tees currently occupying half the Women's site and all the flimsy made pieces. Onward, let's go Bay!

Quote:
Gap Names Creative Director, COS Creator Rebekka Bay

It's been more than a year since Gap fired creative director Patrick Robinson, and now they’ve finally hired a replacement, and she has a pretty impressive background.

The company confirmed that they have named Rebekka Bay creative director and executive vice president for Gap Global Design, effective Oct. 1. Bay is best known for the successful H&M-owned brand COS, which she “conceptualized, developed and launched.” She was creative director there from 2006-2011, when she left for Danish fashion house Bruns Bazaar, where she’s been creative director until now. At Gap, she’ll be responsible for the Women's, Men’s, 1969, Accessories and Body lines.

“We’ve taken the time to identify the right creative leader for Gap and we’ve found that in Rebekka,” said Stephen Sunnucks, president, Gap Inc. international in a release (via BusinessWire) . “We’re confident that Rebekka’s approach to design along with her considerable international experience will allow her to help us build upon the momentum we’re delivering in the business today.”

Is Bay a better fit for Gap than Robinson? Perhaps. While Robinson’s background was in high fashion, Bay oversaw a mass produced, international brand–and a successful, stylish one at that. However, the fact that Gap has henceforth been a pretty distinctly American brand, and Bay’s experience is all in Europe, could be seen as an issue.


Gap has definitely seen its ups and (mostly) downs over the past few years, and made many, many attempts to refocus and get sales back up, most of which have been unsuccessful. Bay’s design talents, coupled with her understanding of how to focus one brand within a conglomerate of brands, could prove quite beneficial to Gap.
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17-09-2012
  2
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Awesome! This is such exciting news!

Especially for all of us who jealously check out the awesome COS thread and buys in the Shop Til You Drop forum...

Looks like we'll soon have access to something sort of like it!

The Gap is definitely due for a bit of a shakeup... I haven't been in there in a while, but the possibility of something new under Rebekka Bay may lure me back.

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17-09-2012
  3
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that intrigues me as well. i love the aesthetics of COS and i've been a little disappointed with GAP this season after their dismissal of patrick robinson. also good for us stateside who don't yet have the pleasure of shopping at COS....through location or online. maybe we'll get a bit of that element,like you said chrissy.

however like the article stated,i'm sure we're going to see many a complaints from the average middle american gap shopper as they all bemoaned GAP's range while designed by patrick. and he is so american sportswear. i can't imagine what will be from somebody with a european background.

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17-09-2012
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This is great news! I love everything COS does, well I love looking at it online since we can't shop it here in the US, yet.

Gap surely needs this.

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09-03-2013
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First collection by Bay slated for Spring 2014, that's quite a wait. I have noticed slight improvements.

Quote:
2013, Gap’s Year of “Global Brand Structure”

Last year the group opened 75 new Gap and Banana Republic stores.

This year the company is focussing on creating a new international structure.
Gap intends to expand into Brazil and Peru in 2013 and into India in 2014. The group is also trying to strengthen relations with its partners.

“In December, our franchise partner FIBA launched a new e-commerce site in Turkey to supplement the merchandise offer of Gap and Banana Republic stores across the entire country. It was a big step forward for us. This is the first time that our relationship with a franchise partner has developed into a line,” said Stefan Laban, senior vice president of Gap International. “This was clearly a year that generated a lot of miles.”

In addition to organisational developments and new markets, the Gap brand is also doing well thanks to the appointment of its new creative director Rebekka Bay, last September.

The first collection under Bay’s direction is scheduled for spring 2014 and her influence is already showing in the collections.

“She works closely on the presentation of the collection and its key signature pieces. She brings an authentic point of view,” explained Fiona Collins, senior PR director for Europe. “For example, she pushed us to be confident enough to present a simple jeans and t-shirt outfit. Because that’s what Gap is ultimately. Rather than trying for a glam look, we are going toward something fresh and clean. It is also an opportunity to evolve the way we communicate. But it is still too early to discuss that.”

In charge of the women’s, men’s, 1969, accessories, and “body” collections, Rebekka Bay wants to give Gap a new ‘creative impulse’, an area in which the two giants H&M and Zara are already far ahead.

Gap’s international ambitions also include strengthening their presence of these two companies in Europe.

“When you look at the activity of other brands such as Zara, you see it is huge in Europe, but very small in North America,” said Collins. “We are almost a reflection of this. We have this very strong activity in America, but in Europe, we are still very small. So there are huge opportunities.”
en.pambianconews.com

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Last edited by HeatherAnne; 09-03-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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09-03-2013
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i agree things are improving at the gap slightly. the stores look more colorful. i think a lot of their shoppers had "basics fatigue"

i was in gap last week and they were selling blouses that looked suspiciously like equipments. they also had a cat print blouse that was remarkably similar to a derek lam cat print from last season.

i'm also getting the impression that they want to ape jcrew. they are using models with silly jenna lyons type glasses on product photos.

photo comparison of image on gap's website vs. jcrew's (images via dailymail)





i am still hoping that fast retailing (uniqlo) will buy the gap. that way their quality would improve markedly.

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09-03-2013
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Hmm well, suffice it to say I wasn't expecting this at all. I think I was 8 the last time I shopped at Gap, but I'm definitely intrigued by this. I love COS so much.

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09-03-2013
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This is just the news I've been waiting to hear my whole life! So excited for this change, I love COS but can never buy it here.

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12-03-2013
  9
flaunt the imperfection..
 
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gap and jcrew dna are similar so it makes sense for them to go down a similar path...
as long as they can differentiate themselves, i think it's the right direction...

and it's really obvious that she's focusing on accessories...
the entire store is full of scarves and you can see on the sight that they have like---a million belts!...

no question that they are slowly but surely shifting...
it's going to be awesome to watch, imo...

Gap is back!

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12-03-2013
  10
flaunt the imperfection..
 
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I also think they should try to build up the menswear business...

back in the day..every guy had gap t shirts and blazers...
they need to bring that back...

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13-03-2013
  11
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As long as they keep it more classic than J. Crew's recent direction. J. Crew has become too brightly colored and frilly for me. I would love to buy a cashmere sweater that is not "mango", "neon azalea" or "bright plum". Whatever happened to classic crayon or heathered colors?

An updated/modern version of 90s minimalism Gap is what I'd like to see.

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13-03-2013
  12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAnne View Post
I would love to buy a cashmere sweater that is not "mango", "neon azalea" or "bright plum". Whatever happened to classic crayon or heathered colors?

An updated/modern version of 90s minimalism Gap is what I'd like to see.
Hah hah! Exactly! I want this, too!

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13-03-2013
  13
flaunt the imperfection..
 
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i agree...
they were always a more basic version of jcrew...


btw- i miss the old jcrew as well...
...
i used to buy gorgeous tweed wool pants and cashmere sweaters at jcrew...

the gap should not have ANY cashmere...
that is not what they should be about and they really can't compete with some of the other retailers doing that...
they should go linen and cotton...
like old calvin klein...

speaking of calvin klein...
i miss old calvin klein as well...

...

and while i'm at it...
i miss old banana republic too...
it's so hard to find good basics now...

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Last edited by softgrey; 13-03-2013 at 10:34 AM.
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13-03-2013
  14
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I agree with every point you made, except for one.

I've bought cashmere sweaters from the Gap before (not even that long ago: maybe 3 years tops), and they were better made than J. Crew, and normal colors! So I think they're capable of carrying cashmere.

Frankly, I don't buy into the Jenna Lyons hype. I think J. Crew is more popular because of the internet and their marketing. I think it's disgusting how you can point out there clothes from a half-mile away, they've become so generic and such a specific look.

I agree with you softie J. Crew used to have the most exquisite, timeless, pieces. I have a closet full, thankfully.

Banana Republic is flimsy garbage, I don't know what happened [cheaper labor, probably], but I haven't shopped there in YEARS.

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13-03-2013
  15
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it really does seem like the gap is recommitting their focus back on those integral products that made them popular in the first place, instead of trying to make it such an overly trendy company that we've seen in recent years or one that's inspired by boring collegiates akin to something like american eagle,which is why it turned me off the gap after 2001.

the only thing i can't stand about j. crew right now is that they have essentially the same kind of basics as gap does yet they charge twice as much for them. and to be honest,i think the only thing jenna lyons has done was introduce more collab products from outside companies like levis vintage,CdG Play and new balance et al. other than that i don't get it.

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